The second title from the brand new Valiant Comics is now available to the public! With another of Valiant’s winning series from the 90′s on shelves, Harbinger‘s return is a long time in coming and is alive and well once again. But does this revision live up to the hype of its predecessor?
Harbinger is a story largely about an 18-year old named Peter Stanchek. Pete’s been mixed up with some unfortunate people and is just kind of meandering through whatever life offers. The very unique thing about this young man is his mind. Intelligence is one thing, but the young Stanchek’s attributes go beyond that. Not only can he hear the thoughts of everyone around him, but he can mentally entrance and command nearly anyone on a whim. While he and his self-medicating friend move from residence to residence, one mysterious suit with a lot of resources is on the hunt for the pair.
I understand this is only the first issue and you can’t base an ongoing series off of one month’s release (I know, I say that in nearly every comic review I post but it takes that “it’s only the first issue!” complaint away from any critics of the article). However, when it comes to pursuing any future issues, Harbinger #1 left me out in the cold. There is a definitive plot taking place and a lot of the groundwork is laid here, but I found this to be a somewhat boring read. We can tell Stanchek is going to need mentored in order to fully harness his powers, though with that being said, I really have no emotion for his character nor any others here. Perhaps a more fair review would be to delve into the follow-up issue when that comes out, but I just won’t be onboard for it.
The artwork by Khari Evans (Carbon Grey) is accomplished here in a very smooth finish. Textures can be non-existent as a result and I really wasn’t a big fan of that style. Whether it was the metal fire extinguisher, a wooden door, or the flesh of a person, it all came across similarly, just in different colors. The writing is executed by Joshua Dysart (Violent Messiahs) who is no stranger to the comics arena (though neither is Evans). After all, Dysart has been nominated for both the Eisner and Harvey Awards. However, here the dialogue and pace is just a bit too dry for me. I wasn’t looking for instant gratification, but something a little more up-tempo and inviting than what I read would have made for a more entertaining book. No issue #2 for me.